Not so bad, not so good....
Wolf Finkbeiner | Fayetteville, Arkansas | 12/18/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoy watching the WPT Poker Videos. I've also purchased the Superstars Poker Videos. This series is a step below both of those tournament poker videos. It's a bit amateurish, but that's a bit charming at times--Mike Matusow in a bad suit pretending he's really excited explaining the play-by-play in one episode where he's the guest commentator. That's not bad.
This series could be so much better if it focused more on the poker hands and if it learned from the WPT. For example, one episode, the first hand shown, is an all-in and someone goes out. The next hand shown, is another all-in and someone else goes out. Now we're done to four and we've hardly seen any poker. I'm sure there were other hands going on--but they didn't show them. Another example, one hand someone is chip leader--the very next hand shown--he's short-stacked! A smaller nitpick is when someone is all-in and the guest commentator is explaining what cards can win it for them--they can't complete the sentence before the dealer turns over the critical card. So much for suspense. And like the WPT Poker Tours events, they'll still spend part of each episode explaining how to play Texas Holdem with their Shana be-alike, "Brandy", along with long introductions, and at the end, awarding a camera to the winner of the event. Please, please, please next season focus on POKER! You don't have to be brain surgeon to realize if you do that, you won't screw up.
A good part about the series is that you do get several episodes on each CD and it seems a decent value for the money. But I've found myself much preferring to watch WPT events or WSOP events. Watching the Ultimate Poker Season can be like pulling teeth."
Helpful but Third Tier.
Bernard Chapin | CHICAGO! USA | 12/31/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoyed these videos but they in no way compare with the WSOP and the WPT sets. Ultimate Poker Challenge should probably be the last thing you buy. Although, Dan Brown is an excellent play-by-play commentator and is vastly superior to Lon McEachern and Mike Sexton. He's very professional which is a welcome change of pace. Brown is an actor but also an accomplished tournament player. Indeed, he was on the first two WSOP circuit events televised this year. The idea of having a different pro do color commentary each week was excellent and that's why I give it four stars instead of three. As far as the pros are concerned, Chris Ferguson is the strongest of the announcers. He holds back nothing as far as instruction is concerned. I'd walk around taking notes if I ever have a chance to meet him in person. Matusow is a pleasure and really tones it down for television. Robert Williamson was quite natural and entertaining as well. The quality of the players is the real problem though. Some of the amateurs are downright awful. You wince when they give out free cards galore and go all-in with nothing. That's the only real limitation of these DVDs."